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U.K.-based chemical company refines global purchasing for shipping, logistics and other services.
Music isn't usually associated with international chemical companies, but don't tell it to logistics executives at U.K.-based ICI.
The company has embarked on what it calls a "symphony" project to improve global purchasing.
"The `symphony' initiative on purchasing will cover everything, from paper clips to shipping," said John Grieveson, ICI's overseas freight and shipping manager. "The project will be looking at raw materials, logistics and packaging on a global basis."
"Symphony" aims to achieve purchasing leverage by cooperation between the group's business units, without creating a new layer of central management or a new central corporate function. "ICI is not `into' head office functions," Grieveson said.
The new arrangement will mesh with ICI's current organizational structure, under which certain executives can work for different business units without necessarily …